Postdoc Slam Finalists Announced!

The Office for Postdoctoral Scholars is pleased to announce the finalists for the first-ever Postdoc Slam competition at UC San Francisco. Postdoc Slam is based on the popular “Grad Slam” contest for graduate students, which is now held at all ten campuses across the UC system. The contest challenges postdocs to present a compelling presentation of their research in three minutes or less, using language that not only their peers – but also non-scientists – will understand.

The finalists are:

Burcu Hasdemir, (Aditi Bhargava, faculty mentor)

Samantha Hindle (Roland Bainton, faculty mentor)

Alba Gonzalez Junca (Mary Helen Barcellos-Hoff, faculty mentor)

Jin Kim (Janice Tsoh, faculty mentor)

Navneet Matharu (Nadav Ahituv, faculty mentor)

Elena Minones-Moyano (Dena Dubal, faculty mentor)

Jeremiah Osteen (David Julius, faculty mentor)

Travis Ruch (Joanne Engel, faculty mentor)

Ana Ruiz-Saenz (Mark Moasser, faculty mentor)

Anthony Rush (Michael Fischbach, faculty mentor)

photo of five of the finalists 

Postdoc Slam Live

The 10 postdoc finalists will present their research in a live contest on Thursday, September 22 at 4 p.m. in Byers Auditorium at UCSF’s Mission Bay campus.

The panel of five, live-contest judges includes two former UCSF postdocs — Teaster Baird, PhD, now a professor of chemistry and biochemistry at SF State University, and Sylvain Cases, PhD, now senior director and head of External Science and Partnering for Sanofi US West. Baird and Cases will be joined by Dr. Clifton Poodry, senior fellow for science education at Howard Hughes Medical Institute, formerly director of the Training, Workforce Development and Diversity at NIH/NIGMS; Jennifer O’Brien, assistant vice chancellor of Public Affairs at UCSF; and Dr. Mark Dresser, an alumnus of UCSF’s Pharmaceutical Sciences Program and current head of Development Sciences at Denali Therapeutics.

Thirty-two postdocs submitted their talks on video to enter the Postdoc Slam contest. A team of nine “screening judges,” which included both faculty scientists as well as non-scientist communications specialists from across UCSF, reviewed the videos and chose the 10 finalists. 

Director of iBiology Sarah Goodwin, who has a PhD in cell biology from UCSF, chaired the screening judges panel. “This is a great competition,” she said. “The breadth of the research represented was impressive, and the quality of the applications made it a very fun — yet difficult — selection process in choosing the finalists. The UCSF community will definitely enjoy Postdoc Slam, and I’m looking forward to seeing the final presentations!”

The entire UCSF community and the public are invited to attend the Sept 22 event, which will culminate in the announcement of the winner, who will be awarded $3,000. The runner-up will receive $1,500, and the “people’s choice” winner, chosen by the audience present, will get $750.

Postdoc Slam is part of UCSF’s celebration of National Postdoc Appreciation Week, a period recognized by Congress to call attention to postdocs’ invaluable contributions to the research enterprise. Read more information about the contest.